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Separation Anxiety in OFW's and their children

According to Psychologist, Separation Anxiety is the fear or distress that can be happen to both children and adults when they think about separating from home or from the people they've become attached to.

Separation Anxiety

OFW is not an exemption. Probably it is the common struggle of all OFWs.

I will tell you honestly, there are times that I feel life is a bit unfair. Why? Think of this, while other families doing well in an exclusive subdivision, eating in a first class restaurants and enjoying leisure travel with the whole family, some families are suffering from separation anxiety due to a fact that their parent's are working miles away.

For many OFWs like me, we work abroad not because this is our own free will. But we are here because we are forced to do so. Due to some circumstances, we seek job's overseas for the betterment of our family.

This is the sad truth of being an OFW. We parents are facing 'homesickness' and 'separation anxiety'. But not only us who are dealing with it, also the children that was left behind in the Philippines are also experiencing the very same problems. In fact, they are suffering more because at their young age they have to overcome the anxiety from being geographically separated to their parent's. I think, without knowing it, when we leave the country to work outside abroad often gives a perspective to our kids to feel that they were abandoned.

Nevertheless, the negative effects of parent-child separation is more on emotional distress and difficulties in social interactions. And worst it could lead to depression. That is the worst scenario that no one wish to happen.

With out necessarily knowing it, the kids of the OFWs are the real victim's of Separation Anxiety, At their age where they are so vulnerable, they are struggling emotionally and mentally. Yes, sadness is there, its normal regardless of the age of the child, but what is worrying is that kids with OFW parents battle with feelings of anger, neglection or blame to parents.

It takes time before they will finally understand your reason's for working abroad. But such things wont happen if parent's themselves will try put much effort to stay in touch with their kid's while they are afar.

According to the experts, there is no known way to prevent separation anxiety disorder,but recognizing and acting on symptoms when they appear can minimize distress and prevent problems associated with it. 

Separation Anxiety wont go away easily. But a key to alleviate stress caused by separation anxiety for both OFW parents and their kids is to stay connected despite of distance, and have an open communication in between. For Overseas parents try to explain to your kids why you have to leave them and get a job outside the country. But never make your child feel guilty for being the main reason of your decision to work abroad. I think it will contributes to their anxiety more. Try to be optimistic and enthusiastic when talking to them. Most important make sure that your child in Philippines is surrounded by people who will guide and support him/her through out the process of coping up.

For the OFW parents who are facing separation anxiety, try to get support from other parents in the same circumstances. Free yourself from guilt of being away from your child. Stay busy and try to enjoy your time doing the things you couldn't do when you are with your kids. Keep moving!

But let us be reminded that,

"While we are busy making money for our children's future, it is also important for us to realize that they need parents not presents."

Thank you for taking time to read.


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